Game 5 of the NLCS was a frustrating one for the Braves, who were unable to hold onto an early lead and eventually fell to the Dodgers, 11-2.
With a chance to advance to the World Series on Thursday night, Freddie Freeman started things off in a big way with a two-run shot in the top of the first. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the Braves would muster for quite some time, and the Dodgers went to work.
After a scoreless first inning, things fell apart for Max Fried in the second. He surrendered a solo homer to AJ Pollock, and after an Albert Pujols single, Chris Taylor continued to haunt the Braves with a two-run shot to give L.A. a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Taylor came up and blooped a ball into center field to extend the lead to 4-2. And in the fifth, Taylor smoked an 0-2 fastball from Chris Martin to give the Dodgers the 6-2 advantage.
In the seventh, Taylor homered again — his third of the night — off Dylan Lee to push the lead to 7-2.
In the eighth, the Dodgers picked on Jacob Webb and extended the lead to 11-2.
Max Fried, simply put, was not sharp on Thursday night. He threw 90 pitches (only 56 strikes) while giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks. Fried was not particularly sharp in Game 1 of the NLCS, either. One would assume he won’t be available for Game 6 but could pitch in a relief role in Game 7, if needed.
The lineup disappeared after Freeman’s homer. The Braves logged just three hits (two singles and a double) and did not walk once. Many of the plate appearances were not competitive, often hacking away and striking out nine times. It was a night to forget.
Game 6 will be Saturday night at Truist Park with Ian Anderson and Max Scherzer scheduled to be on the mound.